Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maybelline Super Model from the 1920's, Viola Dana.

            Oh those Maybelline Eyes

Gorgeous Silent Film Star Viola Dana gained a reputation as a dramatic actress, with the ability to cry often. It was a reputation that led to a contract in 1916 with Metro, with whom the actress remained through 1924, starring in some 51 feature films. By the early 1920’s, Viola Dana was the highest paid female star at the studio where she played both drama and comedy.

I imagine Tom Lyle was impressed by Viola Dana's larger than life eyes on the silver screen glistening with tears, touching the audience deeply and making them remember "Those Eyes."   What better actress to target a growing market for Maybelline in the early 1920's than Viola Dana with her captivating smile and Hippopotamus eyes. Viola became one of Maybelline's most memorable Super Models throughout the 1920's, standing  just 4 feet, 11 ½ inches tall and her exotic dark hair and jovial, piercing eyes gave her the screen presence and aura of a giant.  And "Giant Maybelline Eye's" were just what Tom Lyle was looking for. 
He knew there was a market for the ingenue, the flapper and the girl next door, but Viola appealed to the socialite, the society woman  the mature woman as well as a younger market looking for their own identity after women got the vote in 1920.  Viola was not only glamorous, sensuous and elegant, she was quick witted, smart and independent.  Tom Lyle knew the growing need for an independent role model like Viola - a lady not afraid to order that little red box of Maybelline - was the image he needed to represent him and his growing cosmetic company. 

Click here to see a trailer for the 1920 film Cinderella's Twin with Viola Dana


Click here to see Vintage pictures of Viola Dana, Maybelline's Super Star from the 1920's.


Read all About Viola Dana and Vintage Hollywood in

The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.

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